I watched the Coyotes/Devils game last night from all of ten feet behind Martin Brodeur’s back (and Bryzgalov’s in the second), standing in the zamboni doors with Stan (The Man, The Maven) Fischler. I love that man, and watching from there, with him, was amazing. Huge thank you to the great people at MSG+ for including me in the production of last nights broadcast.
Even when I attend Coyotes games as a member of the media, I can’t handle sitting in the press box. Honestly, I can’t fathom how anyone can give insightful game reviews from up there. Not a dig to those that choose to, and are able to, I just can’t get a feel for the game if I’m not closer to the speed of it.
Sitting where I was, I could see Yandle make a look-off with his eyes before firing the puck at Lombardi’s stick. I could see Mueller’s eyes down before he (luckily) beat Brodeur five-hole (who goes five-hole on a padstack?). You can get a legitimate idea for who’s doing what out there, instead of watching for strictly x’s and o’s like you have to do from eagle perspective. Maybe it just doesn’t work for my type of writing.
The point is, sitting back there was one of my favourite hockey-watching experiences ever.
I was shocked to note two things I should’ve long-ago noted: Marty’s simple helmet design is really sharp, and for some reason, it’s never registered with me that Brodeur wears #30. I bet if you’d asked me yesterday pre-game, I couldn’t have answered that correctly. Embarrassing.
Watching his huge two-pad jammer on Upshall from mere feet away was surreal.
I still get super nervous before doing stuff like this, so cut me some slack:
So, no girls-in-skirts cleaning the ice, huh Phoenix? It seems to me like this is the exact market they’d have that going on, so I asked the guy running the crew there what the deal was (ice crew also stands in zam gates – paid $8.50 an hour to have the best seats in the arena).
Here’s the end of a conversation I had with an unnamed staff member, explaining why the girls-in-skirts got outed for dudes-in-tracksuits:
”Girls are too unreliable. They would call an hour before the game and bail out.”
“…Girls are too unreliable?”
“Well, the type that want to be displayed in skirts in an igloo are.”
John Tortorella has the exact personality you want your head coach to have, but I’m starting to think he might be a “work ethic” coach over a “systems” guy. In translation, he’d be a great junior coach, but maybe not so much of an NHL one.
I had an awkward, hallway walk-by with Brodeur after the game. Just him and I, going in opposite directions in a smallish hallway where you should probably at least acknowledge the other person. I had roughly seven seconds to think of something clever to say to him once I saw him coming down the hall.
I tried to explain the player-ref on-ice relationship in an article for The Hockey News - It’s a tad long, but I think it includes the funniest thing I’ve done as a writer…. I convinced them to link the words “stubborn ECHL refs” to something awesome. Enjoy.